|February 13, 2009|
Alberta Prepares for Tough Times
|Globe-Net - Tough times lie ahead in oil rich Alberta and environmental leadership is the foundation for future growth according to the Speech from the Throne, delivered by the province’s Lieutenant Governor Norman Kwong this week. |
"We are in the midst of a difficult economic time, but Albertans can face the future with confidence," said Premier Ed Stelmach. "The throne speech outlines how we will protect Albertans from the worst effects of the economic downturn, maintain a strong presence on the world stage, and continue to build our province and invest in our future."
The speech outlines the government’s intention to:
While environmental leadership was a major theme of the government’s plans, maintaining the province’s role in supplying energy to its principal market - the United States - remains at the core of Alberta’s economic outlook, already weakened by the cancellation of billions of previously planned investments in the oil patch.
The environmental leadership priority will see better land management in the oil sands in conjunction with a new Land-use Framework; renewed Water for Life strategies that focus on "thoughtful, long-term planning and stewardship;" and
Funding for between three and five carbon capture and storage projects will be announced this year, resulting in greenhouse gas emission reductions of up to five million tonnes annually in Alberta, the equivalent of taking a third of Alberta’s vehicles off the road.
Improved coordination across all levels of government and stakeholders in developing the oil sands responsibly and enhancing accountability in the management of the oil sands was stressed in the Speech, clearly designed to respond to national and international criticism of Alberta’s track record to date in this area.
The government will expand efforts to build positive relations with the new U.S. administration "to help the U.S. meet its need for secure supply of energy" and to demonstrate the province’s commitment to develop its resources in an environmentally responsible way.
The full text of the Speech from the Throne in available online at www.alberta.caFor More Information: Government of Alberta